Eight Mind/Body Steps to a Balanced Self
by Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in Elephant Journal on June 25, 2012
Falling down is the leading cause of injuries for older citizens.
The rattling statistic is that every 18 seconds someone over 65 falls.
In yoga, where the mind goes, the body follows and preferably this is not splat on the floor. Seniors, and the rest of us who are balance-challenged, can use these yogic techniques to improve strength, balance, posture and, most importantly, dangerous falls.
1. Change your thinking.
“If the mind is inflexible, the body is inflexible,” according to Emily Chiodo, director of Joyful Yoga in Bonita Springs, FL. She says so many of her students, particularly seniors concerned with falling, believe that the key to remedying their balance issues is 100 percent isolated in the body. But, in order to be physically balanced, a person must overcome fear and trepidation before any perceived physical limitations can be addressed. Take your yoga off the mat, she urges, and “suspend disbelief.”
Consider working tadasana (mountain pose) in the supermarket checkout. Stand behind your shopping cart with your feet parallel two fist-lengths apart. Ground your feet and imagine you have roots. Tuck your tail and feel your quads lifting knee caps up. Push your hips forward and lift your heart as your shoulders roll up, back and down. Feel your fingertips stretching toward the floor.